A video showing a man chanting mantras as fire lights up has gone viral across social media. The video shows the man adding several elements to a fire pit used in religious ceremonies, which leads to a fire igniting seemingly on its own.
The video has gone viral recently across social media with the following claim, "आज भी हिंदू धर्म में ऐसे ब्राह्मण है जो मंत्रो द्वारा अग्नि प्रकट कर सकते है"
[English Translation: Even today, there are Brahmins in Hinduism who can manifest fire through mantras.]
[English Translation: "Unbelievable! Even today, there are Brahmins in Hinduism who can manifest fire through mantras. Watch this revolutionary video once, listen and understand each and everything carefully."]
The video has gone viral across YouTube as well with similar claims.
Viral videos claim that the priest has lit the fire through the chanting of his mantras.
We inspected the video through InVid's Keyframe Analysis tool, following which we conducted a reverse image search across Google. We came across this video from Sanskar TV dating back to January 16, 2021.
The title of the video carries the following claim:
"मंत्रो द्वारा की गई अग्नि प्रकट ... तेजी से वायरल हो रहा है ये विडियो - मंत्रो से जालाई अग्नि"
[English Translation: "Mantras create fire... This video is becoming increasingly viral - Fire created by mantras]
We found the following video with the caption, "भक्तामर स्त्तोत्र मंत्रों द्वारा दिगम्बर जैन मंदिर में अग्नि प्रगट की गयी Jai Jinendra" [English Translation: "Fire was ignited in Digambar Jain temple after the chanting of Bhaktamara stotra mantras"]
The title of this video suggests that the video was shot in a Digambar Jain temple in Rajasthan, but we could not independently find any reports from this area that confirmed where and when it was shot.
These uploads indicated that the video isn't recent and dates back to earlier this year, specifically January 14, 2021, or even before. However, the Logical Indian could not independently verify where and when the video was shot.
The Science Behind the Ignition:
After a keyword search, we came across this chemistry procedure report by the University of Washington. The report documents an experiment between a puddle of glycerol and a pile of potassium permanganate in a porcelain cup.
Potassium permanganate is a strong oxidizing agent. Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a simple polyol compound, a kind of alcohol. The chemical reaction between these two reactants leads to a large amount of smoke followed by fire erupting from the mixture.
The experiment by the University of Washington documents that, "After about 30 seconds, the reaction bursts into purple flame." The experiment also suggested that the reaction can be delayed if the crystal size of the potassium permanganate is large.
This video shows the reaction between potassium permanganate and glycerin.
The following video also explains how the reaction between Glycerin and Potassium permanganate leads to the spread of superstitions after godmen misuses it. The video documents how putting glycerin into a container holding Potassium permanganate leads to the ignition of fire after a few seconds.
The Logical Indian spoke to Dr Narendra Nayak, a rationalist and godman debunker from Mangalore, Karnataka. He is the current president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations and has founded the Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association.
The following video explains how godmen use the chemical reaction between potassium permanganate and glycerin to spread superstitious beliefs. The title of the video reads: "क्या वेद मंत्रों की शक्ति से हवन कुंड में आग लग सकता है? the reality of ved mantra" [English Translation: Can the power of Veda mantras set fire in the fire pit? The reality of Ved mantra]. As he explains in the video, "The fire is actually ignited through a chemical reaction, and it is then claimed that the fire is created through the power of mantras. This is false; there is no miracle in this; it is just a chemical reaction which is used to fool and delude people." The experiment in this video is similar to the reaction observed in the viral video.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Dr Narendra Nayak said, "This is a simple chemical reaction between potassium permanganate and Glycerin". After examining the viral video, he stated, "The man is putting Glycerin on top of the Potassium permanganate in the fire pit. For sure, it's just a chemical reaction and is meant to spread superstitions."
He also sent a video statement explaining how the chemical reaction is conducted.
Thus, it can be said that the claim by social media posts that the priest has ignited the fire through the power of his mantras is misleading. The fire is most likely a result of the chemical reaction between Glycerin and Potassium permanganate, and the viral post is meant to spread blind beliefs and superstitions across social media.